Turbot is the perfect offering for a special occassion. Impress your beau this Valentine's Day with Philippa Davis's roast turbot with chickpea stew. Serves six.

Roast turbot with chickpea stew is fish royalty, guaranteed to impress on 14 February. (Read more about Valentine’s Day and the best proposals in the field here.)

(Find Mike Robinson’s recipe for turbot with a caper and chilli salsa here.)

Roast turbot with chickpea stew, purple-sprouting broccoli, anchovy butter and roasted lemon

Roast turbot with chickpea stew makes a wonderful centrepiece for a Valentine’s Day feast. By the way, anchovy butter is a very useful item to have in your fridge. It goes beautifully with fish and also works well with venison, beef, lam and chicken.

Ingredients for chickpea stew

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced to the size of a chickpea
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced to the size of a chickpea
  • 3 sticks celery, diced to the size of a chickpea
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 100ml passata
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 200g chicken stock (stock)
  • 400g tin cooked chickpeas, drained and briefly rinsed

Anchovy butter

  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 4 dsp soft salted butter
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed


  • 6 x 250g portions turbot, preferably bone in
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 x 2cm slices lemon


  • 30 small spears purple-sprouting broccoli
purple sprouting broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli is the perfect accompaniment


To make roast turbot with chickpea stew, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the carrot, onion and celery with the chopped garlic and rosemary till just softened. Add the passata, white wine, chicken stock and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the veg are soft. Keep warm.

Anchovy butter

Finely chop the anchovy fillets and mash them with a fork into the butter with the garlic and some black pepper. This will keep in the fridge for a few days but it should reach room temperature before use.


Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/Gas Mark 6 and season the turbot portions with salt before rubbing with the olive oil.

Heat an ovenproof frying pan until it is almost smoking, then sear the turbot pieces on all sides. Add the lemon slices to the pan and roast in the oven for five minutes or until just cooked.

Blanch the broccoli, drain then toss with half the anchovy butter. Pile the warm chickpea stew on a plate with the broccoli, and place the turbot on top with another smear of anchovy butter and a slice of roasted lemon.

If you’re looking for pudding inspiration for Valentine’s Day, try this salted caramel chocolate mousse.


This recipe was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.